The way I look at it, we all get labelled anyway. I'd rather be labelled as Autistic and be understood than be labeled rude, lazy, oversensitive and annoying.
That's a great attitude. One of my first clients was undiagnosed for autism when he came to us, he had an ADHD diagnosis but we quickly saw clear signs of autism and he also showed some pretty heavy Tourettes in his mannerisms, verbal outbursts, and overall level of uncontrolled tics. But his mother refused to begin official diagnosing of her son since she was scared that he'd be stigmatized, she claimed that "it's enough with the ADHD already", as if neuropsychiatric disorders was something one either acknowledged or not (about 60% of people with autism have overlapping diagnoses, often undiagnosed). We tried explaining the sort of difficulties he could encounter and the value of psychoeducation in order to understand oneself and one's place in the world, as well as the immense stigma he would likely suffer growing into adulthood without the proper tools and/or medicine. She wouldn't listen and as far as I know, the diagnoses were never officially explored and set. He moved back home into a heavily negative symbiotic relationship with his mother, there was both physical and verbal abuse from both parties and a slew of troubling circumstances and behaviors from the mother (she was from the US and equated autism with Downs syndrome and other, similar things).
What I've seen through my years at work is that the stigma and labelling is always a lot worse when the client is unaware or lacks knowledge about themselves and they lack tools and coping strategies to deal with life. The more aware of and attuned with their disorders they become, the less labelling and stigma they experience since they can more easily find their groove and begin living on their own conditions and not solely based on the unrealistic and unfair expectations set by both themselves and the world they live in.
curl-6; you are inspirational in many ways, my ambition is to be able to instill the same sense of self-worth and insight into our kids at the home.